Ellsbury should return
Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has a compression fracture of the navicular bone in his right foot, but manager John Farrell insisted Sunday that Ellsbury likely will return to playing before the end of the regular season.
The fracture is nondisplaced, Farrell said, and Ellsbury will be in a boot for a minimum of five days. Ellsbury was examined in Denver on Sunday by Dr. Tom Clanton of the Steadman Clinic, and will return to Boston.
Dustin Pedroia had a nondisplaced fracture of the same bone in 2010, wound up returning for just two games, and had offseason surgery, limiting him to 75 games that season. In 2012, Cody Ross fractrured the same bone in his left foot and missed 27 games.
All three players — Ellsbury, Pedroia, Ross — were injured the same way, fouling a ball off their foot.
Ellsbury, who leads the majors with 52 stolen bases, was batting .299 with a .355 on-base percentage. The speedster was batting .320 (24 for 75) in his last 17 games, with eight stolen bases in that span.
Buchholz set to return Tuesday
Clay Buchholz has been penciled in for a start against the Rays in Tropicana Field Tuesday, when the Sox open a three-game series against Tampa Bay, manager John Farrell said. Buchholz threw a bullpen here Sunday after making three rehab starts.
If Buchholz does indeed start Tuesday night in the Trop, it will be 94 days since he made his last start, June 8 against the Angels, in which he was a 7-2 winner and ran his record to 9-0, his ERA at a major-league best 1.71.
Farrell said he expects to announce who is being dropped from the rotation after Sunday’s game. He offered a hint at his thinking when he said a “priority is who’s the most effective starter right now.’’
If that is the determinant, left-hander Felix Doubront may be bound for the pen, at least temporarily. Doubront has a 6.58 ERA over his last five starts, and has not made it out of the fourth inning in the last two, going just 3 2/3 innings in Boston’s 12-8 win over the Yankees Friday night, walking 6 while giving up 6 runs.
The Revolving Door
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was back behind the plate Sunday, after missing the last four games with a sore back.
Neither Mike Napoli nor Shane Victorino were in Sunday’s Sox starting lineup. The days off were planned, Farrell said; with Monday’s off-day, that will give both players two days. Mike Carp was at first base, and the outfield had Jackie Bradley Jr. in center, flanked by Daniel Nava in right and Jonny Gomes in left.